In a recent newsletter (Coffee with Kathleen, July 2022), I wrote about the majesty of the mountains and the beautiful depths of valleys which can represent our experiences in life: the exhilarating joyful highs of the mountaintop experience compared to the shadowy sorrows of the deep, dark valleys. The conclusion was that God is still God at both the highs and lows of life. His nature doesn’t change even if our circumstances do. He is with us and we wouldn’t experience the joy of mountains without the contrasting sadness of valleys in our lives.
I had two friends write afterwards to comment about their interpretations of mountains and valleys. They had different perspectives and I thought they were both thoughtful and insightful in their reflections. Therefore, after some contemplation, I want to share them with you now.
One friend reflected that she interpreted the mountain as being a hard, strenuous climb, representing difficulty in her life. We all have mountains in our lives that we have to climb and struggle with. This contrasted with the relaxing, calm, shadowy coolness of the valley where she could find peace and safety and feel protected from the mountain by the valley. She feels the valley represents ease in her life instead of struggle. We both marvelled at the opposite perspective!
Another friend commented that it is harder to climb up the mountain than fall down into the valley. His spiritual interpretation was that in life, it is harder and slower to rise up and go where God calls us. whereas it is easier and faster to fall down into the valley of sin and darkness.
I found both of these perspectives to be wonderful! So much of our lives can be interpreted in different ways and I love hearing feedback from others who have different perspectives. I love that God can speak to us differently according to the way we need to hear from him in our circumstances.
“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” (Psalm 139:7-12)
The scripture used in my original piece still applies to both of these interpretations. God is still God, his nature doesn’t change despite our circumstances.
Whether the mountain brings you joy or struggles and whether the valley represents peace or grief, God is with you. He loves you. He is faithful. And He is with you in both the mountaintop and the valley of your life.